Treat yourself to the BEST Dirty Chai Latte today! Hot or iced, this delicious tea and espresso drink is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up, and best of all, it's super easy to make!
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It's hard to believe, but for quite a few years I avoided coffee altogether! I've always loved coffee, but after over-indulging in college, I gave it up for a while.
Since I mainly stuck with tea, one of my favorite coffee shop treats has always been a chai latte. I just love the spicy flavor and creamy texture (so comforting and delicious).
When I lived in NYC, I gradually added coffee back into my daily routine. I'm pretty sure that my daily iced coffee was the only thing that got me through my first (totally horrible) job there!
These days, I never start my day without a cup! And I can't wait to share one of my favorite drinks, the Dirty Chai Latte, with you today. It combines my go-to chai latte with a dash of espresso. Yum!
If you've never had a Dirty Chai before, you are in for a total treat! This crave-worthy drink has all the spicy chai flavor you love, along with extra caffeine kick from the espresso. It's the perfect afternoon indulgence (that's super easy to make).
Intrigued? Keep reading to learn how to make this easy recipe for yourself!
What is a Dirty Chai Latte?
A Dirty Chai is a chai latte with a shot or two of espresso added. You'll love this coffee drink anytime you need an extra boost of caffeine (perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up), and it tastes so good, too!
You can serve this tea-coffee drink hot or cold, and there are a couple other variations, too. I've heard the two shot version called a Filthy Chai Latte. And if you use soy milk (or another vegan sub) instead of dairy milk, you've got a Dirty Hippie. I did not come up with these names ... ha ha!
This recipe uses ingredients you can find in any store. Here's what you'll need:
- Chai Tea Syrup - While you can definitely make masala chai from scratch, I prefer to use my homemade Chai Concentrate. It's a combination of sweetened condensed milk and spices (ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and cloves) that's super easy to make. Store any leftovers in your refrigerator so you can make this delicious drink whenever a craving strikes!
- Black Tea - You'll need a cup of strong black tea for this recipe. I used earl grey, but for a more authentic flavor, you can use assam or darjeeling.
- Espresso - Espresso gives this recipe its kick. Make it with an espresso machine, a Nespresso machine (with espresso pods), or a moka pot (I have this Primula pot). Strong coffee also works ... I used my Ninja Coffee System on the Specialty Brew setting (which makes the perfect amount).
- Milk - I recommend using a thick, creamy milk for this drink, like whole milk. If you'd prefer to use vegan / plant-based milk, soy milk, oat milk, or coconut milk would all work great.
- Cinnamon - The finishing touch is a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. Yum!
How to Make a Dirty Chai Latte at Home
Ready to try this chai latte with coffee for yourself? You'll find a detailed recipe card at the end of this post, but here's an overview of the steps to make a hot Dirty Chai:
- Prepare the chai tea mix. I've been making this homemade chai tea concentrate for years! It's a mix of sweetened condensed milk and spices, and while it's not authentic, it's so simple and quick to make.
- Brew a strong cup of black tea and make a single (or double) shot of espresso. I used earl grey tea. If you don't have an espresso maker, strong coffee with also works fine.
- Combine the tea and coffee, then add the chai tea mix to taste. A large, latte-size coffee cup works best for this recipe.
- Stir the ingredients together until the mixture looks milky.
- Top with frothed milk. It's not 100% necessary, but adding frothed milk to this chai tea coffee recipe creates that special coffee shop touch! I used a milk frother, but you can shake hot milk in a mason jar if you don't have one.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon. The perfect finishing touch for your homemade Dirty Chai Tea Latte!
And that's all there is to it ... pretty easy, right? The spices from the chai tea mix do tend to settle in the bottom of the cup, so keep that in mind before you take your last sip.
If you're an iced coffee fan like me, you can easily make an Iced Dirty Chai Latte instead. The process is similar to the hot chai coffee recipe, although you can skip the foamed milk. See the recipe below for instructions.
Whether you enjoy it hot or cold, this Dirty Chai recipe is sure to become a favorite. It's the perfect afternoon treat!
Now that you've mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment a bit. Here are a few easy variations:
- Iced Dirty Chai Latte - Use cold tea and coffee instead of hot. Check out the recipe card below for detailed directions.
- Filthy Chai Latte - Prepare the recipe as written, but use the full two shots of espresso instead of one.
- Dirty Hippie - Use soy milk (or another vegan / plant-based milk) instead of regular milk.
- Coffee Only - The chai tea mix is also super delicious mixed with coffee only, if you prefer.
- Tea Latte - Skip the espresso to make a regular chai latte!
If you enjoyed this yummy drink, then try some of my other coffee and tea recipes next!
- Sweet Cinnamon Milk Tea - This cozy tea shares a lot of similarities with chai ... perfect for when you're craving a milder drink.
- Iced Coffee - The classic cold coffee recipe that's made with brewed coffee!
- Instant Iced Coffee - Perfect for those mornings when you're short on time.
- Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso - This scrumptious Starbucks copycat makes a delightful treat.
- Dalgona Coffee - This trendy whipped coffee is easier to make than you'd think ... and super tasty, too.
- Australian Iced Coffee - Coffee with ice cream? The best!
- Irish Iced Coffee - A unique twist on traditional Irish Coffee!
- Salted Caramel Affogato - Serve this easy recipe for a special after-dinner treat.
- Coffee Ice Cubes - Perfect for cooling off hot coffee fast for cold drinks.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
A chai latte is a tea drink made with a blend of spices and milk. It has no coffee in it. A Dirty Chai is a Chai Latte with one (or two) shots of espresso added.
A Dirty Chai tastes like a warmly-spiced combination of sweetened, milky tea and coffee. It has a pleasant creamy texture.
This recipe uses a combination of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, although the spices in masala chai can vary.
Dirty Chai Latte
- 1 black tea bag
- 1 to 2 shots espresso (or 2 to 4-ounces strong coffee)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons homemade chai concentrate (see note)
- ⅓ cup whole milk
- ground cinnamon, optional
- Place tea bag in a large coffee cup. Cover with 1 cup boiling water and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Discard tea bag, then add hot espresso to tea.
- Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of chai tea mix (to taste).
- Microwave milk until hot (about 45 seconds), then froth using a milk frother (or shake in a sealed mason jar).
- Add frothed milk to drink, then sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
- Serve hot. Enjoy!
- Place tea bag in a large coffee cup. Cover with 1 cup boiling water and let steep for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove tea bag, then place cup in freezer, and chill tea until cold.
- Fill a large, tall glass ¾ full with ice. Pour tea over ice.
- Combine 2 shots espresso with 1 to 2 tbsp chai tea mix (to taste), then add mixture to iced tea.
- Stir well, then serve immediately.
* This blog post is also available as Web Story 👉 "Dirty Chai Latte". *